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Washington This Week

News/Business. The week's events from Capitol Hill, the White House and around the country. (Stereo)

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Detroit 12, Us 7, Washington 6, Adam Smith 2, Michigan 2, Afghanistan 2, U.s. 2, America 2, Jonathan 1, Paul 1, Boehner 1, Levin 1, Leahy 1, Obama Administration 1, Vermont 1, Fdr 1, Journal 1, Richard Jewell 1, Mccain 1, Washington Journal 1,
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  CSPAN    Washington This Week    News/Business. The week's events from Capitol  
   Hill, the White House and around the country. (Stereo)  

    December 8, 2013
    5:30 - 6:01pm EST  

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detroit if they can't later get such jobs because of an out-of-control war on drugs. mandatory minimum sentences that force judges to give 10, 20, sometimes 50 year sentences for drug offenses are crazy and they've got to end. it is a human tragedy. it is an idea of justice. and there need to be new voices from either party that will say it's time to change. this is whay i've joined with democrats on this. [applause] i've joined with democrats on this. i'm working with senator leahy from vermont to try to give junls more freedom, more leeway when it comes to sentencing. if it were your kid would you want to know whether it was their first crime? whether there's a chance to rehabilitate them? whether it's a drug addiction
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problem that's a health problem and not going to get better in prison? would you want to know there might be other solutions? nonviolent felons who serve their time should get back in society, should be able to get a job, be able to vote, have a life and have a family. their children should look at what comes from happiness and hard work. we talk about the family unit owing down the drain, and we are preventing families from going back. we must address the federal mindset that values arrest rates. it is not because white kids in affluent suburbs are not also smoking pot, it is they tend to be arrested and do not have as good representation and the police gravitate there because it is easier. it has been going on for a long
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time. it is not a purposeful racism, but we have a racial return on the war on drugs that is not fair. minority communities are easy targets. some say that is good politics. maybe it is bad policy, and good people suffer every day as a result. it is a policy that tears apart families and hollows out communities, yet every day there are more victims of this war on drugs. it is not point of pride in this country that we now have the highest incarceration rate in the world. incarceration rates have skyrocketed 800% since 1980. the growth of the prisoner population is unsustainable. we are spending your money every year to keep people locked up, many of whom who are not a threat to others. is a terrible fact that the war on drugs that black and latinos are disproportionately incarcerated. the number one impediment of voting in our country comes
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from the war on drugs. in my state you never get the right to vote back. i have a friend whose brother grew marijuana plants in college, got convicted of a felony, he still cannot vote 30 years later. when he tries to get a job, he checks out a box to say he is a felon. we are destroying people's lives from the beginning. we need new voices that will talk about this. policies that brought up this injustice should be repealed. the best way to help young people i think keep them happy, prosperous, and out of jail is education. it is a tricky business. what we have is not working. it may not be a magic list that will make our schools the best, but what we can do and what we need to do is expand the options, more choices for people, have to be better. the best way to provide education is through competition and school choice, just vouchers, charter
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schools. we need and all the above strategy, less mandates from washington, more local control. we need to give people flexibility when it comes to where they send their kids to school. a pastor says school choice is a civil rights issue. he might be right. we are part of the country that tries school choice as benefits, especially minorities. too much the government says here is a school in your district, it is failing, tough luck. people in detroit have had enough of this. 80% percent of the parents in detroit would have enough choice would take another choice. families want the freedom to choose to send their kids were they would like to send them. i want them to have as many choices as possible. i live where public schools are
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good. my kids are sent to the public high school in kentucky. in my county, my kids can choose from five different schools. they have to compete with each other. i cannot understand how anyone could be against competition, empowering parents with choice. the freedom to innovate is important. charter schools get rid of this top-down approach, one-size-fits-all. study showed charter kids learn more material than their counterparts. opponents of school choice complained and say that is government money. you sent government the money to private or religious schools? absolutely, but it is not government money. is there some kind of mythological government that it belongs to? it is your money, taken out of your paycheck. if you want to use your money to send your kid to a private school, i all means let's do it. the president does.
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the president is rich enough to do it. he does not have a voucher, but the rest of us, we may not have enough left to set our kids to private schools. so we get our money back and send our kids where we want them to go. the bill will give education money to the students right now or is money that comes back that goes to poor schools. we attach it to the kids. do not send it to the schools. they take it to whichever school they want to. the good schools will rise up and succeed and the bad schools will fade away. we have tax credits for education. $5,000 tax credit. this is a broad agenda, how we transform communities. it will touch everyone in this city. from the first time they go to school to becoming parents. economic freedom so that will
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remove government obstacles to success. it will provide a generation of citizens, students, workers with a new bargain, and the government will get out of the way. it will treat you like an adult. it will treat everyone equally under the law, it will help parents control their children's future and their education, it will help creators have more jobs for workers. it will treat you the same way everyone else, the matter the color of your skin, what part of town you comfort. we have tried the bailouts, excessive taxation. it has not worked. it does not work. we will try a new approach. you can meet your new challenges as you rebuild your cities, it will endure and prevail. i promise you that i will work you do we do that. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> it is my job to sort hundreds of questions and try to get them into some kind of order. i will start locally with a student question. what made you take interest in detroit's issues? >> they are in the news. i think about it from two different perspectives. i will be honest with you. i am a politician, i'm a republican, i want votes.
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our party needs more votes and they are not getting more out of detroit. i am a physician and i want to diagnose problems and come up with solutions. in the past, a lot of times republicans have said the free market will float all votes. it is the best humanitarian system. you will see specific problems. that want a specific solution. detroit is the culmination of the problems of a lot of big cities. chicago has the same problems. 20 rural counties in my state have these problems as well. we are talking about detroit. everything i'm saying that apply to other parts of the country who are suffering. there's a history when big cities were the great engine. now with the government drag, we got to get active where the big cities are an engine for improvement. >> the next question, how do you plan on getting
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african-americans to embrace your detroit plant and the gop in general, and could you sign my pocket constitution? >> we republicans got about 5% of the african-american vote. that is not very good. it used to be better. at one point in time it was completely the opposite. in 1920 we got nearly 99% of the african-american vote. 1928, we were up over 2/3 of the way. a dramatic switch from 1928 to 1932. it is not that the issues, we have to change our opinions and attitudes on issues, but it is true that if you do not have money or you do not have a business, you are not concerned about regulation and taxes.
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if i talk to people trying to get ahead in life and are not yet successful, that could be young people, it could be certain ethnic groups on occasion, there is a side about regulation and taxes, about the idea that everybody should be treated fairly under the law, that the justice system should not unfairly imprisoned people of some races, and your individual liberty should be protected. one thing is we do not think any individual should be incarcerated without a trial. that sounds like a new in america does not believe that? you would be surprised. we passed two years ago a law that allows for the indefinite detention of an american citizen. i had a debate with another senator, and i said this means you could send an american citizen guantanamo bay without a trial? he said, yes, if they are dangerous. that begs the question, who
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gets to decide who is dangerous or not? i think back to richard jewell. everybody said he was a bomber. everybody in the media said he was guilty. if he had been a black man in the south, he would have been strung up from the closest tree. that is why you have to believe in due process. we once did it to african americans, because what we did to japanese-americans, and now what we threaten to do the people we accuse of crimes without a trial. with the ideas of justice, believing everybody has a right to a lawyer and to a trial by jury, not everybody believes that anymore, and if we can talk about these issues of justice, fairness, and so continue to believe in low taxes and less regulation, talk about privacy, how your cell phone is your business, your e-mail is her business, all of a sudden there will be a new group of people who will listen
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to us. >> thank you. >> this question is around the federal auto rescue. the question says, the federal auto rescue worked. thousands of jobs were saved here and across america. much as been repaid. isn't this a success story? >> i think there are two different ways to skin a cat as far as trying to get something to work. for me, for example, it is the difference between government stimulus to everybody versus trying to give targeted tax breaks to people who need to get ahead. what i would've probably done, and you could argue whether it would work or how much has been payback back and how much the stock is worth, and there are debatable point of both sides, but i would say is there are ways to do this where we would look at the car industry and say what is government doing to make the car industry less profitable? are the ways we could get government out of the way? i prefer those over a direct bailout of any industry.
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i may not be popular in detroit, but i think it is better to look at an industry, when an industry is suffering, to say what are the obstacles that government is placing in its way, taking those obstacles out of the way, rather than have a specific government payment. >> there's a couple of questions, this again is a student question. for this new bill, how do you plan to receive a partisan support? >> we have already started. i had dinner with your senior senator, senator levin, about a month ago, and discussed superficially some aspects of this. we sent this bill to all your michigan legislators. it will go out to all of them. there will be some obstacles, because what i am talking about is maybe in some ways
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philosophically different than what many in the democratic party believe. many on the democrat side only believe in the government stimulus, that the government must pass the money out to everyone and give everybody in detroit a check, or $50,000 to a startup. the reason it does not work is nine out of 10 is going to fail, so how do you know the right person? we opened the republican office in northwest detroit earlier today, and a gentleman came over who owns his own business and has a restaurant. his question was, do you have anything in your bill for tax breaks for small businesses? if he is succeeding, made it a year or two in business, that is the person where the customers have chosen him. that is who gets the money. all of us together when we buy stuff become smart enough to decide who the businesses are. i think that is how the money ought to be distributed.
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>> this question, moving from detroit more toward washington, and larger issues. how can you assist speaker boehner to unite groups in the republican party, chairman, unite behind the budget and control spending caps, to ensure 218 votes to pass legislation in 2014? someone is really counting. >> i thought we said no hard questions. it may be impossible. it is the thing you always try, historically, to square the circle. it may be impossible. the reason is we have to pass budgets. the house passed a budget and so did the senate. the house budget did not raise taxes, and the senate budget raised taxes.
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we do not want to split the difference on that, but i will not compromise on raising taxes another $500 billion. it would be a disaster. i'm trying to lower taxes for detroit. i do not want to raise taxes. it is hard to come to an agreement. we have divided government. the most likely thing that happens in january is another c.r. a crummy way to run your government. but when we are so far apart philisophically, our country is almost evenly split. half republicans and half democrats. but we believe in is very far apart, and it is hard to find agreement. the debate is good and we should not say because they are debating him because we have
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the discussion that is bad. the have been debating since the beginning of the republic. >> there are several questions around this question of the polarization and the disgust that americans have for gridlock in washington. what do you propose to help heal some of that? >> i think we can agree to disagree and not necessarily always be disagreeable. some of that is personalities and how we work things out. the president and i -- i think we get along fine. i have ridden on air force one when he talked about infrastructure. i have tried to be supportive. there have been various foreign-policy initiatives that i have not attacked him and tried to be supportive of him on. on the drug issues, it has taken him a while, but he is now doing something about some of the mandatory minimums. on infrastructure, there is a way that we could have more infrastructure money -- it is all the money earned overseas by american corporations, nearly $2 trillion from them,
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could be brought home. tax it at 5%, and probably hundreds of billions of dollars in money comes home, but just in tax revenue, at 5%, you would doubled the money we have available for infrastructure and if we could just tax it at 5%. it is a win-win solution. we lower the tax rate. we get more revenue and we built some roads. and i talked to the president about that, and the president said this cbo score is a loss of revenue because it is not coming in at 35%. 0% is coming home. we have to overcome the cbo score on this. i said, we vote to overturn all the other rules, let's vote to overturn this one.
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there is a chance we could pass that. there's more of a chance that we could pass that than overall tax reform, which we do not agree on. >> why are you such a proponent of congressional term limits? >> send the bums home. they need to get a job. [laughter] [applause] >> we should have people come in. i asked if i could practice medicine, and they said no. you actually would want people up there to maintain their job so they would not be afraid of losing their job in washington. we have term limits for the president. after fdr, that is too much for the presidency. i think 12 years in the house, 12 years in the senate. if you want a lifetime up there, 24 years is a long time. you could do 12 years in the house, 12 years in the senate. i think 12 is better than six,
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because six might not be -- you have this debate. they may be too short. i think at the same time they can also -- we can have people there too long. it would beat you down. i've been there three years, and i get beaten down every day. it is how long you can maintain your inspiration and try to change something. i think fresh blood is good. [applause] >> the next question, how do you think the republican party or the conservative movement can convince their own members that broadening our party through minority outreach is actually possible? >> i think they just have to look at the facts. i have been pretty harsh about our prospects for winning the presidency as the republican party. we either adapt, we evolve, or we die. that is a pretty harsh assessment. if you look at things in demographic terms, and i hate
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to categorize things by race, but if you look at by race john mccain got more of that caucasian vote than bush did and lost. romney got more of it than mccain did and lost. we need to be a more diverse party. i tell people we need people in our party that do not all have ties on. we need people with tattoos, without tattoos, people with pony tails, hearing some from all different walks of life, all different colors, creeds, and the democratic party is more diverse than we are. it is why they're winning more elections. some of the diversity is also we need to appeal to people in cities. some of that is ethnically related. we need to use all the big cities. we have to change. we will not be able to win nationally again, and some people are stuck in a rut on
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this. a lot of people are waking up. the michigan gop knows we have to do better if we're going to win. >> i am bringing it on home with the last two questions. what are your thoughts on obamacare? too many questions. i had to ask you three. >> i may need a couple hours. it is unraveling on its own effects. i was telling jonathan that i think it is not that government is inherently stupid, although that is a debatable point. it is that they do not get the right incentives. the business would be run this way because you would be run out of business immediately. we have put into law perverse incentives. people who had cheap insurance no longer can buy that. it is what they could afford and that is the only way they had it. i was one of them. i used to have family coverage for five people, for $5,000. a $5,000 deductible.
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in obamacare, you can have a higher detectable and still pay $20,000 because there is a mandate built into it. the problem is the insurance company is never going to offer those policies again because they are told within a year, if you delay it for year, then in a year everyone will be forced to buy the new policies, which are more expensive. let's say you sell bread and you sell for a dollar a loaf, and they say, we're going to force everybody to buy for two dollars a loaf, but you have to continue selling it for dollar. the problem is the young healthy people were already not buying insurance because it was too expensive under the old system. now we have made it more expensive. you think we have more or less people buying it? within a year it may spiral out of control or premiums come back before the next election and the premiums go up to such a deep degree that this thing collapses. it may come down to democrats beg us to fix it.
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the only reason they may not is the president seems to think he is a monarch and that he can fix it on his own with no vote. >> the final question -- and this is from a student and what everyone in the audience wants to know -- what are your plans for running for president in 2016? >> where is my cell phone. can i call my wife? i tell her there are two votes in my family. my wife has both of them. both of them are no votes. right now i do not know yet, but i thank you for your interest. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> senator paul, thank you so very, very much. what a privilege it has been to be your host today, and what a privilege it has been for you to lay out your plans at the detroit economic club. we so appreciate it. dottie, thank you so much. ladies and gentlemen, we know you're busy. thank you for investing time with us today, and with that, this meeting is adjourned. thank you for being with us. have a great day. things escalate so quickly, a moment that seems so loving can just turn and flip and be so out of control. this is one of those days and it ended with adam packing to leave, and sasha going through his things and slaying a hidden hidden -- seeing a
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handgun. asking what is this, and he said i'm going to sell it. they had no money. she held the gun, and he went in the room and came out with a shotgun. and really tried to jam it at her, so she would get her goat so much and hold the trigger and kill him. as i describe in the hook, she wanted to. >> they return home is only half the story. the u.s. is the man of infantry. in, there are tables out in front with lots of pamphlets. prior to entering the gun show. and the handles are all healthy government is trying to take away your right to own guns. obamacare is terrible rate of those because i wanted to talk to, because those are the ones who had the ideas.
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i'm an academic, i'm a researcher graham and i'm doing research on these organizations some of these ideas, try to understand men who believe this. a lot of the look of a suspiciously asked questions. i just said look, here is what i am. herenot give it i'm a but is my job. i would understand how you guys see the world. i want to understand your worldview. you will not convince me, and i will not convince you. that is off the table. what is on the table that i would understand why you think the way you do. >> downward mobility, jerry -- racial and gender inequality, michael cable on the fears, anxieties, and rage of angry white men. part of book tv this weekend on c-span two. >> online for december tv book
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club, we want to know what your favorite books were in 2013. go to book tv.org, and click on book on to enter the chat room. . on the next washington journal, the latest on the etween negotiations b the house and saienate. military times reporter andrew tillman joins us. washington journal is live every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c- span. in just a few moments, newsmakers with representative adam smith of washington state. he is the top democrat on the armed services committee. after that, president obama talking about the state of u.s.- israel relations.
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>> this week on "newsmakers" congressman adam smith joins us from seattle. we are joined in the studio by frank oliveri and craig whitlock. >> i would like to ask you about afghanistan. the obama administration thought they had fought the deal to keep the troops there 2014. that seems like it is falling apart. do you see any way of resolving this before the beginning of next year or will it stride on until afghanistan elects a new president? >> the deal has not fallen

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